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Island Records is a Jamaican-American record label that operates as a division of the Universal Music Group . It was founded by Chris Blackwell, Graeme Goodall and Leslie Kong in Jamaica in 1959. Blackwell sold the label to PolyGram in 1989. Both Island and another label recently acquired by PolyGram, A&M Records, were both at the time the largest independent record labels in history, with Island in particular having exerted a major influence on the progressive UK music scene in the early 1970s. The label has been operating as one of Universal Music Group's standalone labels since 2014, also handling Mercury Records.

Island Records
Island records new logo.png
Parent company
Founded 1959; 57 years ago (1959)
Founder
Distributor(s)
Country of origin
  • Jamaica
Location
Official website

Island Records is a Jamaican-American record label that operates as a division of the Universal Music Group (UMG). It was founded by Chris Blackwell, Graeme Goodall and Leslie Kong in Jamaica in 1959. Blackwell sold the label to PolyGram in 1989. Both Island and another label recently acquired by PolyGram, A&M Records, were both at the time the largest independent record labels in history, with Island in particular having exerted a major influence on the progressive UK music scene in the early 1970s. The label has been operating as one of Universal Music Group's standalone labels since 2014, also handling Mercury Records.

As of February 2014, three Island labels exist in the world: Island UK, Island US, and Island Australia. Notable artists on the label's US roster include Demi Lovato, Fall Out Boy, Nick Jonas, American Authors, Keke Palmer, Brian Fallon, Taio Cruz, the Vamps, Kiesza, Nikki Williams, Shawn Mendes, Neon Trees, Tove Lo, Avicii, Bon Jovi, and Tom Waits whereas notable artists on the UK roster include Spring King, Ben Howard, Florence + The Machine, Mumford & Sons, John Newman, Hozier, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Disclosure, AlunaGeorge, Leona Lewis, Keane, James Morrison, Mollie King, Annie Lennox and Will Young. Current key people of Island Records include UMG CEO Lucian Grainge, Island president and CEO David Massey and executive vice president and general manager Eric Wong. Partially due to the label's significant legacy, Island remains one of UMG's pre-eminent record labels. In a 50-year anniversary documentary, Island Records artist Melissa Etheridge stated: "If you want to look at world music, music of the last fifty years that changed the world, you need look no further than Island Records."

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Keep on Running: 50 Years of Island Records

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